Lewis P2, Valtteri P3 in Close Quali for Dutch GP
Lewis narrowly missed out on pole position by just 0.038s and will start second on the grid for the Dutch GP.
Valtteri was three tenths further back in P3, after failing to improve on his initial effort due to a tricky final sector.
Like the practice sessions earlier in the weekend, it was a disrupted Qualifying session, with two red flags in Q2 – the last of which brought the session to a close two minutes early.
Both Lewis and Valtteri will start the race on the Soft tyre compound.
That was so close. I gave it absolutely everything out there, but Max did a fantastic job and deserved pole position. I’ve been trying to play catch-up after missing most of yesterday’s session, so that made it a bit more of a difficult day. Nevertheless, the car felt good out there and what an amazing track to qualify on. A big thank you to the Dutch fans, I love coming to this country and I really appreciate the welcome I have received. We haven’t seen a crowd like this in a while so hopefully we put on a good show for them tomorrow. It’s going to be tough, because it’s a challenging track to overtake on, but strategy will play a big role. We’ve got two cars at the front, so we’ll both be giving it our all and what a track to go racing on.
That was a fun Qualifying session. It’s a great track to drive, especially in the middle sector where it is so fast, and also the banked corners. There’s a really nice atmosphere here, too. The car has been feeling good, but Red Bull were just a bit out of reach today. We’re still lacking a little bit in the first sector, particularly through Turns 2 and 3. My last lap in Q3 wasn’t the best, I was up on my time until Turn 11 but then got a bit too greedy and braked too late. But we have two cars in the top three and that’s important, so it’s all to play for and we’ll be on the attack tomorrow. It’s a hard track to overtake on but the start and strategy will provide opportunities, so I’m sure we will still see a great race.
We’re satisfied with where we ended up in Qualifying. Firstly, it was great to see the drivers pushing to the limit on an exciting track like this. Lewis missed out on a lot of running yesterday but he put a fantastic lap together in the end, he probably outperformed the car. Valtteri did a strong job throughout the session, too, so having the cars in P2 and P3 is a good starting point for tomorrow. There are options on both one and two stops for the race and we have both our drivers up at the front, so that gives us the chance to play different strategies and see where we end up. I think it’s going to be a really exciting race and there’s a good atmosphere here, so I’m looking forward to seeing how it all plays out.
We’ve been on the backfoot through this weekend; losing time with Lewis yesterday didn’t help but we’ve struggled with the car through Turn 2 and 3 and that was a trend that remained in the morning session today. We made some changes going into Qualifying, but we didn’t get a great read on that in the first half of Qualifying, as we ran the Medium to start and then ended up on cold tyres in the second session due to a red flag. The final session was the first time we had hot tyres and the Soft compound, and the car was working reasonably well. Lewis ended up less than four hundredths of a second off Max and Valtteri would have been right there had Turn 11 and 12 been a bit cleaner on his final run, so whilst we missed out on pole position, we can still be satisfied with the progress. It’s going to be very difficult to overtake but having two cars at the front is an advantage and the indications from the sessions so far are that incidents are likely, so there’s still plenty of opportunity.